Monday, August 3, 2009

From Erica: more musical questions

So Emily's post about gender and music got me thinking along those lines again- not unusual, given my academic background in women's studies and cultural studies- but this time, my interest was piqued by something a little different. While we often talk about violence, racism, sexism, and homophobia in music, something that the broader political/activist community tends to forget is ableism in the very idea of music itself; that is, we tend to forget that musical appreciation is, to an extent, limited by one's ability to hear the music. Speaking as a Hearing person, my perspective on the Deaf community is necessarily limited. However, I think it worth mentioning that music videos and most songs are written with the intent of being broadcast to those who can hear the lyrics and the tones clearly. So when I came across this video on YouTube, I was surprised and intrigued. I admit: I know very little about who B-Storm is, and I have next to no knowledge about the way members of the Deaf community feel and talk about Hearing music and access to it. However, the idea of interpreting Hearing music for members of the Deaf community is interesting, and provokes some questions and curiosity in me. As a Hearing person who wishes to know how to interpret and speak ASL, I'd love to know more about the Deaf community in the US in general, and know how a video like this one fits in. At the very least, the interpreter's introduction to the video is fantastic. Go check it out- it's really interesting!

Just as a heads up: if you're a blog reader who would prefer to avoid swearing in their media, the link might not be for you. However, if you go to YouTube, there are other examples of sign interpretation of Hearing music that you might be more comfortable with.

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